Ha Long Bay Cruise Day 3 – Sung Sot Cave Exploration

Travel Period: 21 Sep – 28 Sep 2014

{PREVIOUS: Ha Long Bay Cruise Day 2 – BBQ Night }

Hanoi Day 7 Itinerary –

  • Explore Sung Sot Cave / Return To Ha Long City and back to Hanoi / Weekend Night Markets

To Hang Sung Sot

Early morning, about twenty minutes after breakfast, we headed to Sung Sot Cave also known as the Surprise Cave.

At the entrance, I saw this signboard which reads “The Seven Wonders of Nature”.  We are at one of them! ^_^

A Steep Climb

We gathered at the foot of a long flight of staircase and proceeded to climb upwards, one by one. I held onto Dar in case he slips. It was long way up which made us pant when we finally reached the top.

This was the scenery mid-way where Vin took a snap. That’s the pier we alighted just now… Look how small the people were, showing how high we had climb.

Finally, at the top where there was a lookout point to stop and look at the scenery below. Awesome!

Entering the Cave

We entered the cave where now, we had to walk down the steps instead. One of the staff from the cruise is our guide for the day. He led us around and explained about the structures to us. I think I should have noted down what he said because I had forgotten most of them by now. I only remembered it was quite interesting to hear his speech, as he pointed out details we wouldn’t see if we just stroll. 

Though it’s strange to get a natural cave lit in multi-colours, I think it’s safer for us so we wouldn’t trip over sudden projections in the ground. Yup. The ground is not exactly smooth since it’s a natural cave. The lighting also made the formations nicer to look at.

The picture below is the column I liked most. Well, in the picture it looks small but standing there with it towering over us, it’s quite a different feeling. 

We climbed more steps to a different chamber. It was slightly slippery at times but Dar managed well (Get a good walking shoe).

The guide pointed to us a jutting rock which was specially lit (see the second pic in picture below). Erm.. it’s suppose to look like a body organ..the pic says it all. Someone in the group offered to help take our family picture. So glad to have a nice picture for keepsake! My neck was glistening with sweat because the cave was hot and humid. Vin was almost wet in his shirt too. Wear light, airy clothes if you are here in September!

Chinese characters left by an ancient Chinese explorer, according to our guide.

Making one round in the last and largest chamber. We stopped following the group and roamed around here more to admire the natural landscape. This was the second time we are in a natural cave but it’s still a different feeling (the first time being Switzerland). I’m sure we will still be visiting such natural landscapes in other countries if they have it as an attraction.

End of the Tour/ Going Up

Reaching the end of the last chamber, we were to climb up. I thought I saw wrongly and asked Vin, “Are those tiny dots, people?” He replied me, “Yes!” I gasped. “Wow, we are so far from the top?!”

There’s no other way out so one just have to climb. Someone in our group had a knee problem and almost couldn’t manage to finish walking up the steps. Fortunately, there were lots of staff from the cruise around to help. Dar was alright with the climbing. He loves stairs. I was the one who was more tired when we reached.

Outside the cave and looking in, this was how TINY the people inside were! (where my pink arrow is pointing) Therefore, do not attempt this activity unless you are prepared to walk up and down steep rocky stairs!

Souvenirs / Going Down

There was a souvenir shops immediately at the entrance. As we had already bought a picture of Ha Long Bay earlier in Hanoi, we skipped those. I spotted a nice T-shirt and pants set and bought it for Dar. It was relatively cheap to me and it would be great to help the local lady earn some. The material was very thin and see-through but perfect for our warm weather in Singapore. Dar wore it quite several times until he outgrew it (should have bought a bigger size since he grew too fast!).

The Ha Long Bay Sailor T-shirt set in white we bought from here. The black shirt was bought from a street stall in Hanoi earlier.

We begin our descent to the pier where we would board the boat to leave. Going down the flight of stairs was easier.

Dar spotted a vendor selling lots of foodstuff and asked whether he could have potato chips. He felt hungry and it’s his favourite food. Vin shouted our request to the person and they showed us a can of “Pringles Potato Chip”. That happened to be Dar’s favourite brand of chips! He had to stretch himself over to pay and get it so this was an interesting experience, buying things like that.

Dar had a good snack of potato chips on board. Fortunately, we bought that, because there was no lunch provided after this and we were all hungry after the walk.

{Next Post : Back to Ha Long City and to Hanoi }